Speaking from the site of the blaze, the National Trust’s Director General, Helen Ghosh, said:
“The fire is now out but the scale of the damage to the mansion has been devastating. The house is now essentially a shell, most of the roof, ceiling and floors have collapsed into the bottom of the building.
“There is perhaps one room that is relatively untouched but, other than that, the interior is extensively damaged. The external walls are still standing.
“It’s a terrible sight. We have saved some significant items but certainly not everything that we wanted to save.
“We have a very well-rehearsed plan to get key items out of houses but it’s still too early to say just how much we have been able to save.
“It will clearly take some time to assess the full scale of the damage and to then consider what the options are for the house.
“The most important thing is that no-one was injured and everyone was safely evacuated. Although I’m upset by what has happened, I also feel huge pride at the tremendous work of our staff and volunteers in dealing with this terrible event. The local team have had marvellous support from colleagues from neighbouring properties and specialists from across the Trust.
“We’ve also had a large number of messages of support from members and the public – which we truly appreciate.
“I would also like to thank the amazing efforts of the fire brigade. We’ll continue to work closely with them over the coming days.”
We’re asking our supporters not to visit Clandon Park at this time to offer help as the incident is still being managed on site, and a fire investigation is underway.
The National Trust is looking for a second shepherd to support an innovative conservation project in the foothills of Snowdon in North Wales.
Herding the sheep on the mountains above Hafod Y Llan. Credit Joe Cornish
The conservation charity’s in-hand farm, Hafod-y-Llan, manages 1600 Welsh Mountain sheep and every day between May and September, some of the flock is shepherded to new grazing areas away from any sensitive mountain habitats such as upland heaths and flushes (wet, boggy areas), in a bid to improve plant diversity on areas of the mountain.
Farmer and writer John Lewis-Stempel has been awarded the Thwaites Wainwright Prize 2015 for Meadowland: the Private Life of an English Field – his lyrical account of a year in the life of a farmland meadow.
“A magnificent love letter to the natural world, full of wisdom and experience, written with wit, poetry and love. I want to scream from the rooftops: buy it, give it, read it” – Tim Smit, The Eden Project
Worth £5,000, the annual book prize is awarded by publishers Frances Lincoln, in association with the National Trust, to spotlight the best books in UK nature and travel writing.
We’re going on a newt hunt. We’re going to catch a big one.
Newt. One of the words taken out of the Oxford Junior Dictionary nearly eight years ago. Along with Acorn, Sycamore and 110 other words about nature and the countryside.
These are words disappearing from children’s lives. The National Trust, as one of the founder members of The Wild Network, is supporting the organisation in its new campaign to ‘reclaim’ the wild words which have been dropped.